CLEVELAND, OH — This past weekend in Euclid, a suburb of Cleveland, police dash-cam and bystander footage captured an officer’s violent interaction with an individual during what should have been a routine traffic stop. In the videos the officer can be seen slamming the man’s head against the street and repeatedly hitting him in his head. Euclid Mayor Kirsten Gail and a police department spokesperson said the incident will be thoroughly reviewed.
One of the officers involved, Michael Amiott, was forced to resign from his previous job as a Mentor police officer for conducting a traffic stop without probable cause. The ACLU of Ohio and the Cleveland Branch NAACP are profoundly concerned about the apparent lack of vetted background screening in hiring practices for City of Euclid police officers.
“We are appalled by the brutality seen in these videos,” said J. Bennett Guess, Executive Director of the ACLU of Ohio. “This behavior underscores a disturbing pattern of extreme use of force by police in our state and across our nation. In order to regain public trust, authorities must ensure that force is only used as a last resort to protect the life of officers and community members. Even under those circumstances, the force must never be excessive.”
“This extremely disturbing use of force by a law enforcement officer employed by the City of Euclid is, sadly, nothing new,” said James L. Hardiman, President of the Cleveland Branch NAACP. “We are aware of other incidents involving police misconduct by Euclid policemen, and we are calling on the City of Euclid and its police department to take this matter seriously, fulfill their sworn oath as public officials and eliminate the practice of using excessive and unconstitutional force. The relationship between the African-American community and local police is, at best, tumultuous and events like this only serve to plant a deeper seed of mistrust.”
The ACLU of Ohio and Cleveland Branch NAACP are committed to challenging and eradicating police brutality in all Ohio communities. Both organizations called for the Department of Justice to investigate excessive use of force within the Cleveland Division of Police, which resulted in the ongoing consent decree.